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Subject: "And the band kept playin' on..."
This is definitely my favorite '90s show. The magic was thick in the air that night. Perfect tempo, perfect vocals, and a Dead-friendly musical guest (Accordion Bruce was sometimes good, but always cheesy). They Dead were at their best when they had a jazzy element to their sound. Branford certainly brought that out of them. I can get lost in the Eyes the same way I would with a version from '73 or '74. The Estimated is freaking amazing.
Jerry on MIDI oboe and Branford on sax at the end of the 18:00 Dark Star as absolutely mind-blowing.
This is the best source for this show.
Mind Wondrin -
Subject: Lawn Guyland
That there are 10 uploads from almost as many sources for this show in the Archive attests either to its popularity or the number of Long Island tapers. Tapes of this show quickly made it around, "dude you gotta hear Branford, man!". Songs from the three Nassau shows were used for Without a Net, in its day the best-sounding live album ever released. Those 5 songs are:
Eyes this show
In addition, the Bird Song from this show was used on the So Many Roads box, Disc 4.
Nassau was one of those trad Dead venues, like the Spectrum, Omni, Alpine or Red Rocks; perhaps by '90 more so than the other NYC-area venues. When that happens you know it's because of either a laidback community, good camping, area beauty, overall vibe, a track record of above-average shows or some combo. Did the community college you went to host the Dead? (OK, it's adjacent to the campus & is actually the home of NHL's Islanders). The Dead played there 42 times starting in '73 (back when NHL only had 16 teams!). I dunno, are there are any other out-of-state venues the band played that many times over 22 years?
The 1st set starts fairly solid but really takes off with Ramble. Of the 12 other times it was played in '90, I'm thinking none surpass this one. There's lots of room made for guest Branford, who starts playing in Bird Song, but he sounds tentative with the arrangement. It's a fun listen but it's not until the 2nd set that they really gel with him as a unit.
The 1st half of the 2nd set isn't particularly outstanding, it just has the unique addition of sax. It heats up though at the jam out of Estimated into an 18-minute Dark star (which a lot of people hadn't heard yet; this was the 4th one since the '89 return), a format Branford could really exploit - only makes sense they would bust it out. Maybe I'm not a big Dark Star head -to me nothing beats those '68 versions (and maybe a few later TC versions)- but I'm giving this one props. Drums is the type that makes you scared of what Space is going to be. "Shit man, I might have to go on a bathroom adventure. See you space monkeys when I get back". Bobby pulls a perfect Throwin' Stones (no sing-spitting drama or falsetto shrieking). Knockin' is a candidate for best-ever.
Best SBD and overall source: Hinko24996 . Darryl did a fantastic job.
If you are a Healy Matrix fan try: Unknown 1317 . The best 2nd set seed, it's not the full show so you'll also need to use part of: Hansokolow97118
If you prefer it up in the stalls, the best AUD source is: nawrocki29191
Show is Known for:
Branford Marsalis on soprano sax
A 16-minute Eyes (beautifully mastered on Without a Net)
A 13-minute Bird Song (also on So Many Roads)
Ramble on Rose
2nd set from Dark Star through encore
Overall Rating: B+ (4 Stars)
1st Set: C
2nd Set: A
(One of the top 10 '90 shows. If sax is your thing you'll love this one, I don't know if it beats the next night but the 2nd set's a '90 highlight.)
CAVEAT: Out of over 2300 shows, most are 2 & 3-star shows by definition. Surely you hand out as many 2-star ratings as 5-star, right? Otherwise, the sidereal scorecard would be bullshit because it wouldn't serve the purpose of letting us know which shows deserve our listening time. I know some people want to rate source quality but we're totally spoiled with great sources at this point, so it's more a matter of finding those rare shows that were beyond the beyond. (This show's at least a candidate for 5-stars.)
Hear what's really on that file. Score that sweet soundcard and bin the buds.
Subject: Great show! Glad I was there!
I remember calling the Dark Star during Estimated because I could hear hints of it being pushed back and forth in the licks.
This show was more exciting than the relatively tamer 1990 summer shows on the East Coast.
Subject: My 25th show, and only 17 at the time!
This was just an amazin show. I heard Dark Star only one other time, 10-16-89 at Bryne Arena in East Rutherford, NJ, on Bobby's Birthday. This, however, was too the moon and beyond. Branford showing up in Birdsong was phenominal, but coming out for the entire second set...wow! This show has it all, and is a muxt have for any collector
Subject: Special From The Get Go.....
The energy displayed on the Jack Straw>Bertha is cracklin'. As strong an opening duo of tunes as I can remember. If you can still feel it 18 years later, you know it's good.
I don't feel I can add anything to the Birdsong that hasn't already been said. It is pretty astounding though.
Set 2 starts out with more excellent playing. The sax playing is just epic. Perfectly played, Branford fits in with the band well.
I especially enjoyed the Dark Star. A monster that will just devour your mind. A Jazz Star at it's finest, especially the stellar world class jazz fusion meltdown. Branford really added a lot to this show. Every aspiring horn player should listen to his phrasing in Knockin' On Heaven's Door. It really is a thing of beauty. Every one is on this night.
This is top 10 for any era.
Hang loose. Jesus loves you.
Subject: 1st show on 2 feet
This was my 2nd show....1st was 5/8/77 in my mothers womb! Any help w/dl's would be much obliged. Ho, ho, email@example.com peace
Definitely 90's Dead. Weir was awesome in the 15 min Estimated Prophet. If you want to jam out to some dead this is the one. Sax is key too. Don't know of a better "Knockin' on Heavens Door". Get this. Keep Jammin...
Subject: Best 1990 show?
Boy 1990 was a good year. The previous reviewer says this and MSG 9/20 are the best modern Dark Stars. Good observation, but don't forget Miami 1989, RFK 1990 along with the New Years 90>1991 version, also with Branford. The 9/10/91 Dark Star also with Branford at MSG is a goody.
As for the Eyes of the World here, it is the pimp daddy but is also joined by other great 1990 versions such as Cal Expo 6/10 (Same tempo and brilliant Garcia) and the great New Years 1990>1991 version. 1990 was the peak for Eyes of the World, Dark Star (modern era) and the band itself.
Subject: Dark Star
This and the version from 09-20-1990 are the two best Dark Stars post retirement (throw in 12-31-78 too)...the band and Brandford glide through Dark Star with ease, melting minds along the way...the first set is tight...Bird Song is a showcase version...
Subject: more please
this is just pure bliss! are there any more like this???
This show is a must have. I love when he Dead played w/ Branford. In my opinion he ads allot of flair to many of the songs. Bird Song is down right disgusting. This is one of my favorite performances of this song. The second set should be made illegal. The boys and Branford were on fire!!!!!! The Wheel>Throwing>Turn On Your Lovelight especially. The Knockin' on Heavens door is my favorite version. It will make you cry. Jerry is sounds soooooooo emotional and his voice sounds excellent. This is a must DL. I am a huge 70's fan but this is one of my favorites. A must DL!!! Peace.
Subject: Just exactly perfect
This is how the Grateful Dead should sound.
this show is fluid and flowing with life and intensity, it is not rushed or slow but is a nice grove which leaves alot of room for improvisation....absolutly beautiful....
throwing stones is the best version iv'e heard...the whole show drips with fealing...and the tape is darling, 5 star rock-n-roll show..thank u and long live The Grateful Dead
Subject: superior version
it must be noted, this copy of 3-29-90, vs teh other two on this, the best website to ever hit the WWW, is superior in quality. who is in charge of this site, and do they accept donations? i almost feel like im stealing. yeah, i know, free trading of dead music, but this is too easy. at least when i was dubbing cassettes it took effort.
Oh, and not that this show needs another review, but it oozes with pure musical excellence. Jerry climbs up and down the strings as fluidly as he ever did. Lots of peaks throughout. and yeah, the eyes is.....well, its perfect. The Jack Straw has very nice crescendos-a top version imo, although if you are looking for the best version of JS, you best go check out 6-6-91 (teh sbd not the audience version). Bruce and Jerry wage war against each other in that version. its truly magnificent.
Great show. The addition of Marsalis in the second set is definately a plus. The Knockin on Heavens Door might be the best version ever. Marsalis definately adds an abstract edge to the song. I highly recommend downloading this.
Patty Falafal -
Subject: nice copy
great copy of a great show...a definite edge over the other copies!
Subject: One of the best of the post 70's
Even though this show gets more hype than most due to its East Coast roots, it definitely delivers the goods.
First off the sound quality is 5/5. Totally smokin !
The Bird Song, Dark Star, and Eyes are all excellent versions. Actually the Bird Song could be one of the best of all time.
What I would love to see is boards like this to come out for the Albany and Hamilton shows.